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Communication Studies

The Word Bank: A Vital Little Research Concept

Words and Synonyms Infographic


Words and Synonyms



This text describes the infographic image above. 

Expert researchers organize subject-related words before they being searching -- and continue to save words as they learn new ones. 

Here are 3 ways to organize and think about words in searching:

  1.  The Mindmap is a series of bubbles: the big one in the middle is the broad topic, the smaller ones are aspects of the broad topic. Brainstorm the aspects, and use arrows to indicate connections; naming the arrows helps uncover ideas. Example: Women is the broad idea; College, Appalachia, and engineering are related; girls is STEM goes along an arrow. Include synonyms: women could be female or girl.
  2. Use Hierarchies to consider bigger-to-smaller ideas.  In boxes left to right, make the idea smaller and smaller. You can search for things all along the hierarchy, adding words and ideas as they appear. Example: First idea: musicians; smaller idea: rock musicians; smaller: guitar players: smaller: Keith Richards. 
  3. A word bank organizes your words by concept in vertical columns. Take each concept and collect synonyms and related terms under it. Example: Motorcycle, the concept at the top of the column, could also be called bike, Harley, or hog.  Culture, a second top idea, could be described as beliefs, attitudes, or psychology. 

When I Say Word Bank, you say.....

We use a lot of different words to talk about using words in searching. I need a Word Bank to talk about synonyms. 

Expert researchers should  brainstorm, identify, find, discover, chose, list, think, mindmap, create, imagine
all the synonyms, controlled vocabulary, thesaurus terms, descriptors, identifiers, indexers, keywords, technical names, jargon, scientific names, MESH headings, word stems, hierarchies, common / specific / technical words, abbreviations, spelling variations, definitions, uniform titles, terms, words, descriptions, smallest parts, languages, concepts, terminology, search terms, alternatives, phrases, or similar words 
before - and during - searching. 

Subjects: Communication